REPORT No. 57/12
CASE 11.568
MERITS
LUIS ANTONIO GALINDO CÁRDENAS AND FAMILY
PERU
March 21, 2012
I.

SUMMARY

1.
The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (hereinafter “the Inter-American Commission,”
“the Commission,” or “the IACHR”) received a complaint presented on January 3, 1995, by Mr. Luis Antonio
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Galindo Cárdenas (hereinafter “the petitioner,” “the alleged victim,” or “Mr. Galindo”), in which he alleged the
violation of a series of provisions of the American Convention on Human Rights (hereinafter “the American
Convention,” “the Convention,” or “the ACHR”) by the Republic of Peru (hereinafter “the Peruvian State,” “the
State,” or “Peru”) through his alleged illegal arrest on October 16, 1994, at a time when he was serving as a
provisional judge of the Superior Court of Justice of Huánuco, under Terrorism Decree Law No. 25475, following
which he was detained and psychologically tortured at the headquarters of the Political/Military Command of the
Huallaga Front in the city of Huánuco for a period of 31 days, after being falsely and publicly accused by President
Alberto Fujimori of having applied for the benefits established in the provisions of Decree Law No. 25499, known
as the “Repentance Law.” He further alleged that the State had failed to fulfill its obligation to investigate his
complaints and to punish those responsible.
2.
The Commission, in Admissibility Report No. 14/04, found that the facts, if proven, would tend to
establish violations of the rights enshrined in Articles 5, 7, 9, 8, and 25 of the American Convention, in conjunction
with Articles 1 and 2 thereof, with respect to Mr. Luis Antonio Galindo Cárdenas, and it decided to rule the petition
admissible in accordance with the terms of Articles 46 and 47 of the American Convention on Human Rights.
3.
At the merits stage, the petitioner claimed that the Peruvian State had violated Mr. Galindo’s
right to personal liberty in that he was detained absent a prior court order and without being caught in flagrante
delicto, he was never formally told of the charges against him, and, once released after a detention longer than
was permitted by law, he was not given a deed of arrest or of release. He also alleged violations of his right to
humane treatment during his detention, in that he was held incommunicado; of the right to be tried by a natural,
independent, and impartial judge, in accordance with his status as a serving magistrate; and of the principle of
legality, in that the definition of the crime of terrorism on which the investigation against him was based has been
ruled incompatible with the American Convention by the Inter-American Court.
4.
In contrast, the State claimed that the petitioner was arrested in accordance with the law in
order to establish his criminal responsibility for the crime of terrorism, in that a person covered by the Repentance
Law had indicated that he was a member of an organization with ties to Shining Path. Peru noted that there was
no evidence that Mr. Galindo was held on a military base. It held that Mr. Galindo admitted having defended
members of Shining Path and that he voluntarily expressed his desire to seek the benefits of the Repentance Law.
In addition, it claimed that during the processing of the case, the petitioner provided no evidence to substantiate
in any way the psychological torture he allegedly suffered. Regarding the alleged violation of the right to a fair trial,
the State claimed that Mr. Galindo filed for neither habeas corpus nor amparo relief and, although after his release
he filed complaints alleging illegal arrest and torture, those allegations were shelved under Amnesty Laws Nos.
26479 and 26492, which were later ruled invalid by the Inter-American Court in its judgment in the Barrios Altos
case. Peru stated that there were currently no open proceedings in connection with the alleged facts. Finally,
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Later, the representation of the alleged victim was taken up by attorney Cristina Galindo, the victim’s sister, and, on April 5, 2004, by
attorney Richard M. Rocha.

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